On March 18, our group of 27 skiers arrived in Boise, ID to embark on an adventure in Sun Valley. We made the most of our time on the slopes and enjoyed good company in view of the stunning Sawtooth mountain range. Our lodging was North America’s original destination resort, the iconic Sun Valley Inn. We had a few small challenges, between erroneous credit card charges and some missing room amenities, but we were able to work everything out satisfactorily. Black Tie Ski Rental was onsite shortly after we arrived, and they quickly got us set up with quality gear. Most of the group walked to Village Station for dinner, and we met all met up in the hotel afterwards for introductions and ticket distribution. Sunday, March 19 was our first day on the mountain, and while the day proved to be challenging due to heavy, chunky snow, the mountain was not crowded, and we enjoyed the slopes under clear skies with no lift lines. Several of us met up for a delightful lunch on top of the mountain at Seattle Ridge Lodge. Unfortunately, later in the afternoon, two of our skiers sustained injuries. While not seriously hurt, a trip to the local hospital for xrays and treatment was needed. Both were back to the hotel later that evening, while a majority of our group met up for dinner at nearby Gretchen's. On day two, with snow falling rapidly, half of the group participated in the 9:30 AM mountain tour, although many were concerned about poor visibility. If ever there as a day that could benefit from having a local guide, this was it! After a long day skiing, we gathered for a relaxed dinner at the Grill at Knob Hill, in Ketchum. The next few days had blue bird skies and easier skiing. One of the nicest features of the hotel is a large, heated outdoor pool, and several of our members took advantage of that every evening, before dinner. Several of us took a “day off” midweek, with some visiting the Earnest Hemingway memorial, and others bargain hunting at the Goldmine resale shop, home of designer ski wear at super low prices. Towards the end of the week, we noticed many families with young children, many of them disabled, in town and on the mountain. There was a big para-Olympic competition coming up, and it was truly inspirational to see so many young athletes out and about.
A couple of our members took advantage of the excellent cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing opportunities in and around Sun Valley. Both through the Nordic Center at the Sun Valley club, an extensive, well maintained trail system which is a golf course in the summer, and the even better facilities in the natural environment of the Galena Lodge. This offer of a broader spectrum of physical activities in the snow, apart from downhill skiing and snowboarding, is a significant advantage and attraction of Sun Valley.
On Thursday night, we gathered for the group dinner at the legendary Sawtooth Room in Ketchum. The setting, food, and service were superb and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely! The last ski day brought fresh snow, and a small group of us ventured out early, to get the first gondola up and do a top-to-bottom run. It was so much fun, we did it twice! As the day progressed, poor visibility and strong winds caused the gondola to move slowly and stop periodically. By mid-day, only the diehards were still out skiing, and with the lifts closing early and the wind working against us, it took some effort to make it back. In the evening, half the group gathered at Village Station, while others dined at The Ram. We later spent time together in the hotel lobby, enjoying our leftover food and drinks, and sharing laughs and stories. Saturday, March 25 was departure day, and we had an easy and uneventful trip to the Boise airport and our subsequent flights home. The beautiful slopes, enjoyable meals, and camaraderie with old and new friends made the trip a most memorable experience!